The Big Picture of Vocation

“Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love, which is forgiveness.” Reinhold Niebuhr, The Irony of American History

We Are Not Our Own

“In this method, you don’t ask, What do I want from life? You ask a different set of questions: What does life want from me? What are my circumstances calling me to do? In this scheme of things we don’t create our lives; we are summoned by life. The important answers are not found inside, they are found outside. This perspective begins not within the autonomous self, but with the concrete circumstances in which you happen to be embedded. This perspective begins with an awareness that the world existed long before you and will last long after you, and that in the brief span of your life you have been thrown by fate, by history, by chance, by evolution, or by God into a specific place with specific problems and needs. Your job is to figure certain things out: What does this environment need in order to be made whole? What is it that needs repair? What tasks are lying around waiting to be performed? As the novelist Frederick Buechner put it, “At what points do my talents and deep gladness meet the world’s deep need?” -David Brooks, The Road to Character

The ‘Highest’ Calling Is What God Has Called You To Do, Whatever That Is

“If we accept this biblical view of work, we will stop thinking that gospel ministry is the highest calling. The work that God has given you is the highest calling and is itself a God-given ministry. The ministry is the highest calling only for those whom God has called to ministry (and as Paul said, God usually calls the least of all saints to that work). But if God has called you to another kind of work, that is His highest calling for you.” -David Murray, The Happy Christian